Galapagos Cruise & Mainland Ecuador Tour
Get the most out of Ecuador with this 11-Day Ecuador and Galapagos Islands Tour. You’ll wander Quito’s nearby Otavalo Market to shop for Andean Handicrafts, explore Cuenca, Ecuador’s most beautiful colonial gem and journey through the Cajas National Park on your way to Guayaquil. Then on to the Galapagos Islands where you’ll embark on a sublime four-night Galapagos cruise, taking in abundant land, bird and sea wildlife and learning about the fascinating geology of the archipelago.
Starting from $5,490 per person
Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners.
HOW IT WORKS
- Take a full-day tour of the famous Otavalo Market, shop for authentic Andean handicrafts and visit small villages and natural highlights along the way.
- Explore Cuenca, Ecuador’s most beautiful city, at your leisure, then take a tour to learn its fascinating history.
- Visit a Panama hat factory and learn about this Ecuadorian (they don’t come from Panama!) craft.
- Journey through the Cajas National Park, learning about the geology, fauna and flora of the region.
- Visit Dragon Hill to seek out the Galapagos Islands’ famous land iguanas.
- Visit Rábida, a small but animal-packed island and see sea lions, Pelicans, Flamingos and Finches.
- Learn about Galapagos geology on the tiny island of Sombrero Chino, covered with volcanic formations.
- Discover Genovesa island – often called Bird Island for its abundance of avian species, including Boobies, Red-Footed and Masked Boobies and Great Frigates, as well as sea lions.
- Enjoy breath-taking views of lunar-like caters, volcanic cones, lava fields and beaches of the Galapagos from Bartolome Island.
- Visit the forested highlands of Santa Cruz, and see sink holes and lava tunnels.
- Stay and travel in comfort, whether cruising or visiting a hotel, and enjoy the attention of trained guides, ready and willing to cater to your every need.
After breakfast, you'll set off on a full-day tour to the famous Otavalo Market, the best place in Ecuador for authentic Andean handicrafts. En route, you'll make several stops at small villages and natural highlights, such as the stunning San Pablo Lake, before enjoying a guided tour of the market and plenty of time to explore and shop at your leisure.
The site where Cuenca stands today once served as a center for the ancient Canari people, the Incas, and finally the Spaniards. You'll learn about this complex history during your Cuenca city tour. You'll also see several of the city’s beautiful colonial buildings, including the main cathedral, and visit a Panama hat factory where nimble-fingered experts weave the famous hats, which are actually an Ecuadorian craft.
Travel through the scenic Cajas National Park en route to Guayaquil. You'll traverse several park trails, learning about the geology, flora, and fauna of the region. Continuing on to Guayaquil by private transport, you will descend from 13,100 feet to sea level in a matter of hours to enter the tropical world of Guayaquil.
Your exploration of the Galapagos Islands begins! Upon arrival in Baltra, 600 miles off the coast, you will be met by your guide and taken on a short bus ride to the harbor to board your vessel. After lunch, you will embark on an excursion to Dragon Hill, famous for its numerous land iguanas.
Alight on the red sands of Rábida Island, which is small but teeming with wildlife. Along the shore you can find sea lions and nesting pelicans. A short inland trail takes you to a saltwater lagoon where you're likely to see Flamingos and Finches. Then, in the afternoon, you'll learn about Galapagos geology on the tiny island of Sombrero Chino.
Discover Genovesa Island, often called Bird Island for its abundance of avian species. In the morning you'll ascend Prince Philip's Steps, a steep rocky path surrounded by Boobie colonies. Spend the afternoon at Darwin Bay among Galapagos sea lions, Red-Footed and Masked Boobies, and Great Frigates.
Enjoy a morning at Bartolome Island. From here, at an elevation of almost 400 feet, you will have breath-taking views of the lunar-like craters, volcanic cones, lava fields and beaches of the Galapagos Islands. In the afternoon you will explore the still active volcanic island of Santiago, one of the best places for observing fur seals in the Galapagos.
During your last day in the Galapagos, you'll explore the highlands of Santa Cruz where the scenery changes dramatically to lush forest. You'll have the opportunity to explore a lava tunnel and see enormous crater-like sink holes. before heading to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your journey back home. Depending on your international flight departure and your interests, we can arrange an exploration of the thriving coastal city of Guayaquil.
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